Author Archive

Engineers…

Posted in Apple, Computers, software, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 06/12/2015 by wooddickinson

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And no, I don’t mean train engineers. I was always taught that form follows function. Seems safe to me. Of course “safe” isn’t always fun. If “safe was all we wanted then there wouldn’t be  Macs vs PCs or better yet Windows vs OS X.

But, even while trying to make a product (design) fun, it still needs to function very well. I remember when Steve Jobs said the inside of a Mac needs to be as excellent as the outside. I agree. A real good looking car just may not be the car you need to get the job done.

Now, about the current iPhone. Who in the world thought putting the power button directly across from the volume buttons was a good idea? Did anyone (yes ANYONE) not notice that this was a bad design idea? Really, not one engineer or beta user?  No department head at Apple? Anyone for that matter notice this blunder before the product launched?

To make matters worse, to chase other companies “cool factor” Apple curved the edges of the phone making it much harder to hold. I know, hands free, I get it.

The same goes for Apples newest product, the AppleWATCH. I have to wonder, “Did the product team at Apple ever notice young people don’t wear watches?” Nope. Apple pushes ahead asking us to buy this $350 (really more like $600 to $700) watch so we can sit back and watch version 2 roll out in a year. Don’t we all have to have the newest version?

Me, I love watches. They are truly works of art. I’m talking mechanical not quartz movement watches. There are some fine quartz watches on the market and I have a few but it’s the mechanical watches that draw me. The form and function in either a MeisterSinger or an Ernst Benz shows beauty of form and function at its finest. There won’t be an “update” for these watches. No Legacy System here.

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Memo – Someone at Apple, you should read The Fifth Discipline. I saw a short film Peter Senge screened several years ago. It was about Cremona, Italy. Cremona is the worlds greatest center for violin makers. Its most famous resident was Antonio Stradivari. This film detailed how experts have searched for the secrets Antonio knew that allowed him to make the finest violins the world has ever seen. In short, they failed.

Peter noted it isn’t about engineering or science but more about the soul of the violin maker.

Funny words for a MIT business professor to use.

I’m not on the AppleWATCH bandwagon and to be honest, I hate my current iPhone. I’m sick of endless product revision using the latest hardware, endless software revisions, well, you know the drill. Being a geek at heart I have a lot of what’s known as legacy systems around my house. Many of these systems truly don’t work with current software and operating systems.

Then there is my wonderful Les Paul circa 1970. It is all vintage and more valuable today than the day I bought it. To learn more about things –

Personal Mastery – The search for Stradivarius – Society for Organizational Learning

EMAIL!

Posted in Computers with tags , , , , on 03/17/2015 by wooddickinson

19373469Back in the “old days” of computers email applications became available and I was very excited about the prospect of much more immediate communications. This was for work application. I never really thought that people would start using it for personal communications as well.

I met my wife when I was sixteen years old and we wrote hundreds of letters back and forth. We still have them in boxes, a record and testament of our growing relationship. I use to write about everyday to her. These letters are hand written and decorated as best as we could do.

Today email has become the de facto method of communications. They are temporal and ephemeral by their very nature. Personally I keep all my email except the “junk” folder. But, junk seems like all I get. The amount of “newsletters,” offers, ads etc. far out strip emails from people I want to hear from. I find I miss important emails due to the amount of stuff coming into my inbox.  Looking at my email today I have 1400 unread emails in my inbox! How did this happen?

Well, you register a piece of software or hardware even your new toaster and it is followed by emailed offers, newsletters and other marketing material. When is someone going to tell all these companies that this amount of communicates is more confusing than the last Transformer movie. I delete “blocks” of emails now. I know in doing this I delete stuff I really want to or need to read. It’s all very frustrating. I know people, you might be one of them, that just creates a new email address on a routine basis to stop this flow of junk.

Again, when you do this, important emails will not get to you and you’ll miss the free upgrade offer of a major piece of software you use. I use scads of smart email boxes to sort things but it’s getting to be too much. I’m on an unsubscribe binge and updating my junk folder settings like crazy. What a mess. Somehow I mean to beat this back because I do want to keep my email address.

So, if I miss your emails please be patient. I’m going to get this under control one way or the other and companies out there STOP IT.

eBay!

Posted in eBay, Store with tags , , on 02/12/2015 by wooddickinson

ebay_logoI finally got eBay working. It isn’t easy I’ll tell you that. My store has an eclectic mix of items that I’ve picked up over the years. That includes Camcorders, cassette recorders, video editing gear, music gear, office gear, and maybe a few collectables from time to time. Please visit and subscribe.

The store URL is:

http://stores.ebay.com/10-Past-Midnight

You can visit by clicking HERE.

Not Missing or Lost

Posted in Art, Block Island, Clouds, Earth, Path with tags , , , , on 01/28/2015 by wooddickinson

Trail #34

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog. Been busy and holidays etc etc… So here’s what I’m up to. I’m working on a series of images of paths. Mostly dirt foot paths but I am also finding steps and dirt roads that seem to fit to me. I will write soon about my thinking on the subject and the type of treatments I’m using. Peace.

Why I Hate Digital Cameras, phones, computers, etc…

Posted in abandoned, Amazon, Apple, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Color, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on 10/11/2014 by wooddickinson

nkd810It never fails. I bought a Mac Mini and within a month Apple released a new Mac Mini that is ten times better than the one I just bought. This summer I bought a Nikon D800 camera. It’s a fabulous piece of technology and light years ahead of my “over the hill” D2Xs.

So now, Nikon has a replacement for the D800! It’s the D810. What happens? The price of the D800 falls through the floor. I can’t trade up to a D810 without spending $1500 to $2000. I’m so over this kind of business. I think a company that sells a high-end piece of technology should offer some kind of price protection or reasonable upgrade path for those people who have a suddenly obsolete (but very expensive) piece of tech.

I spent about $2500 for my D800 camera body. Thank God lenses can’t be obsoleted! I checked the price for a new D800 and it seems to be around $2,900 today. The D810 lists for $3,300. With the new camera out the price for a used D800 is dropping. Currently I could buy one for $2,300. So you know what I’d get on a trade.

This drives me crazy. Leica did the same thing when it introduced the M8. They said it would be a stable product and upgradable. They weren’t going to leave owners holding the bag. Guess what, Leica released an interim M8.2 then replaced that with the M9. Now they just call it the Leica M. Price for the M? $7,000 (body only). The M9 still sells for $7,000 too. My old M8 cost $2,400. I will say the value is holding for that camera. I see them selling for $1,700 on Amazon but the M7 (a 35mm film camera) is selling for $5,000. Oh hey, if you really want to be stupid Leica has a M version that shoots only Black & White digital images. Price, $8,000!

There was a time I used the beautifully crafted Nikon F5 35MM film camera. Again it cost about $2,400 but today you can get your very own for only $350. That’s a travesty. The F5 is a machine. All mechanical and the craftsmanship that goes into producing one is incredible.

That $2,400 range is about what I paid for my Nikon D2Xs. It was a top of the line Digital camera. Today they sell for $650. When Nikon release the D2’s replacement the price jumped to $6,000! Same as the Leica.

This is a hopeless situation. There is no doubt that my D800 is a fabulous camera. I will be using it for years. I just hate knowing within four months of purchasing it, it’s replaced and takes a huge hit on its value. Maybe that’s why I love film cameras. You can’t play this game.

I have no doubt there is a Nikon D820 just lurking around the corner to challenge the D810 buyers of today. This way of treating customers and I mean customers who are spending a lot of money with your company is over the moon. At some point in time the electronics industry (be it cameras, phones or computers) must find a better way. Leaving customers out in the cold like this is just not right.

Serendipity

Posted in abandoned, Blogroll, Book, Buildings, Robin Randle Stories, Where Madness Dwells with tags , , , , , on 09/26/2014 by wooddickinson

From above

Funny how things work. While looking for something completely unrelated I stumbled on the real Reding’s Mill Pool. This public pool was located just outside Joplin, MO in the tiny city of Reding’s Mill. It was a natural spring fed pool and a memorable place from my teen years.

Those of you keeping up with The Robin Randle Stories know this pool is the scene of a horrific event that keeps revisiting Robin in a more and more detailed and correct form. In the book the location of the pool is Mason, TX. I captured the map image and then found a woman who posted photos of the inside. Enjoy this bit of my past twisted into my imagination and ending up in the life of Robin. Enjoy the gallery below and thanks to Roanna Rose for posting these in some wedding pictures!

Current Shows

Posted in 100 in 365, Amazon, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Exhibition, Fine Art Photography, HDR, Kansas City, Photo Editing with tags , , , , , , , , on 09/05/2014 by wooddickinson

Ireland ReImaginedGood times. Busy times. I want everyone to know the Cafe Trio show is now closed. I want to thank Chris for helping mount and strike the exhibition.

Currently I have work up at Fabulous Foo’s in Ranchmart Shopping Center. It will close Oct. 31st. If you want your own copy of any of these 15 photographs visit the gift shop  or email me at wood@wooddickinson.com.

Fairway Frames also has  some photos up in their window till September, 30th. While there you can see a copy of my recent book, “100 in 365. Version 2.0.” Visit the gift shop at wooddickinson.com to order a standard edition or splurge and buy the special edition both numbered and signed. Very few left.

These 15 exhibited prints are still for sale for a bit longer. Any question call me at 913-667-9339.

Thanks for the outpouring of support.

Wood

 

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